Bogibeel, India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge, is likely to be inaugurated in October this year. Bogibeel bridge in the North-East part of India has been a major engineering challenge for Indian Railways. Built over the Brahmaputra river, Bogibeel bridge connects the North and South banks of river Brahmaputra and is situated in the eastern region of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The Bogibeel bridge will provide much-needed connectivity between Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. The 4.94 kilometres long rail-cum-road Bogibeel bridge has two railway lines at its lower deck and a three lane road bridge on the top. Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations officer of North-East Frontier Railway told FE Online that the bridge is likely to be inaugurated in October this year.
Several reports suggest that given the strategic and infrastructure-related importance of the Bogibeel bridge, PM Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate it. Another interesting fact is that the foundation stone for Bogibeel bridge was laid down by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002. The bridge has faced several construction delays, also because of the challenge of building it over a turbulent Brahmaputra river. Most of the crucial work of the bridge could only happen during the November to March period because for the rest of the year, early flooding makes Brahmaputra river unsafe.
Bogibeel bridge will save a lot of time both in terms of road and rail travel. As of now a train journey from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam’s Dibrugarh means a detour of 500 kilometres via Guwahati. But, with the Bogibeel bridge, the train journey will be less than 100 kilometres! Additionally, Delhi to Dibrugarh train travel time will also come down by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.
The 100% welded Bogibeel bridge has been built at a height of 32 metres above the water level. The bridge, which has been made making use of techniques from Sweden and Denmark, is much lighter when compared to bridges with riveted girders. The design too is similar to a bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark. Built at an estimated cost of Rs 4857 crore, the Bogibeel bridge is the second longest in Asia.